By Liz Lopez
Matt Tyrnauer, the director of “Studio 54,” now presents the documentary, “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” about the New York lawyer who was known to reach for all the power he can while rising in his career. It did not matter to him if it was legal or not. He was an only child with a doting Jewish mother and very intelligent – learning so much as a child from the adults when sitting around the dinner table or living room when his parents had company. By 1954, he was a young colleague of Joseph McCarthy who sat with him during the Army-McCarthy hearings. Tyrnauer uses archival TV clips, newsreel footage and audio interviews for his feature documentary, one that reveals so much about his manipulation through the years and how he was a mentor to Donald Trump, as well as helping him through the 1975 housing discrimination charges. If anyone is unfamiliar with the life and times of Roy Cohn, this is the film to view and learn about some history that leads up to how things are today.
Cohn’s conduct as seen in the archival footage captures how his lies and deceptions were used to cover up his actions. Patriotism is cited at the forefront to cover for his behavior and this is evident as it recurs to this day in the current governmental administration. He was indicted multiple times for professional wrongdoing, but the film shows how he kept going.
Cohn had a public image to maintain and he most certainly wants to exert his influence wherever he can, especially among those with wealth. At the same time, his sexual orientation was often questioned, but he often avoided responding in order to keep his private life out of the news. There were questions, especially after he was seeking special military treatment for his colleague, G. David Schine. Just wait and see the footage used in the film and the excellent work of the editors, Andrea Lewis and Tom Maroney.
Although Cohn died of AIDS in the 80s, it seems like his unpopular legacy lives on in our lives today.
Cast: Roger Stone, Ken Auletta, Liz Smith, Anne Roiphe, David Cay Johnston.
Rated PG-13. Running time: 97 MIN.
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Source: Sony Pictures Classics